Explosions rock Crimea ammunition depot; Ukraine says special forces involved


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KYIV, Ukraine – Two people were injured on Tuesday and infrastructure was badly damaged when a major explosion shook an ammunition depot in Russian-occupied Crimea in what the Kremlin called an “act of sabotage.”

A senior Ukrainian government official, speaking anonymously to discuss a sensitive issue, said the explosions were the work of Ukrainian special forces operating deep behind enemy lines — the same forces believed to be responsible for a powerful attack on a Russian air base. in Western Europe. Crimea marked a shift in Ukraine’s strategic capabilities last week.

Russian media also reported on Tuesday that Crimean authorities were investigating the possibility of a second attack on another ammunition depot in southern Crimea.

Explosion at the Crimean airport was the work of Ukrainian special forces

Authorities in Crimea, the main Black Sea peninsula that Russia annexed in 2014, said a fire broke out early Tuesday at a depot near Dzhankoi in northern Crimea, exploding the ammunition stored there. came. Unverified images from social media showed multiple thick columns of smoke, interspersed with rapid explosions and powerful fireballs, as local officials arrived on the scene and promised to investigate the incident.

“On the morning of August 16, a military depot was damaged by sabotage near Dzhankoi,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The powerful blast damaged nearby buildings, power lines and train tracks, and led to the evacuation of thousands of residents, the ministry said, adding that no one was seriously injured. Sergei Aksyonov, the Moscow-backed head of Crimea, reported two injuries from the blast and declared a regional state of emergency. On Tuesday, work was done to restore the local infrastructure.

Ukrainian officials celebrated the blast in statements on social media. “The morning at Dzhankoi started with explosions,” Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, wrote on Twitter, describing the explosions as “demilitarization in action”.

“A reminder: A normal country’s Crimea is about the Black Sea, mountains, recreation and tourism, but the Russian-occupied Crimea is about explosions of warehouses and a high risk of death for intruders and thieves,” he said.

“Operation ‘demilitarization’ in the high-precision style of the Ukrainian armed forces will continue until the Ukrainian territories are completely cleared,” Andriy Yermak, Zelensky’s chief of staff, said. said on Twitter. “Our soldiers are the best sponsors of a good mood,” he added. “Crimea is Ukraine.”

Details of how the apparent attack was carried out were not known, and Kiev has not officially claimed responsibility for it. But if confirmed, it would be the second successful attack in a week on Russian military targets in Crimea by Ukrainian special forces operating in Russian-occupied territory. A Ukrainian official said they were behind the powerful explosions that shook Saki Air Force Base in Crimea last week.

The ambitious attacks on both the military depot and air base in Crimea highlighted Ukraine’s progress in developing its relatively young special forces capability, experts there said.

“The development of our special forces is very recent and is the result of aid from Western countries,” said Liubov Tsybulska, an adviser to the government in Ukraine and founder of the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. Tsybulska described the troops as “highly motivated” and unburdened by the country’s legacy of Soviet institutions.

At least six explosions hit Krim airbase in almost an hour

Russian media, citing local residents, also reported on Tuesday that clouds of smoke were seen over an air base near Simferopol, in south-central Ukraine. The Russian newspaper Kommersant, citing anonymous sources, said authorities are investigating the possibility of a drone attack on another ammunition depot.

On Tuesday around noon local time, Oleksiy Arestovych, a military adviser to Zelensky, wrote in a Telegram message: “New explosions – at the military air base in Gvardeisky.”

Ukrainian military leaders hope strikes like the one at the Russian military depot Tuesday could be crucial in weakening Moscow’s ability to strike in any city in Ukraine, and prevent it from taking cities like Mykolaiv and opening a corridor to Transnistria creates.

“By hitting depots and breaking the logistics chain, Moscow will not be able to constantly bombard us with rocket attacks that keep the country in fear, Tsybulska said. “It’s crucial that we don’t allow them to do this.”

Timsit reported from France and Khurshudyan from Georgia. Liz Sly and Adela Suliman contributed to this report.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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